Welcome Dedman College Spotlight Attendees!

September 30, 2016

Welcome to the Dedman College Spotlight!

The Dedman College Academic Spotlight showcases the best of the Humanities and Sciences. This special event engages prospective students and their parents with workshops, lectures and interactive visits with current SMU students and professors. If you are a high school senior and interested in learning about the SMU college experience, don’t miss the Dedman College Academic Spotlight. Click here for the agenda. 

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Staying for the weekend? Click here for a list of area activities and attractions.

 

Peter K. Moore appointed to campus-wide curricular and policy role

SMU News

Originally Posted: September 29, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) — Peter K. Moore, SMU associate dean for general education and a longtime advocate for liberal studies and scholarship, has been appointed associate provost for curricular innovation and policy effective Oct. 3, 2016.

Moore’s new role is part of a reorganization of the University’s Office of General Education, which will move from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences to the Office of the Provost. The move was announced jointly by Steven Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College, after extensive consultation with the SMU Faculty Senate.

Moore will also continue as co-chair of the Provost’s General Education Review Task Force.

Locating the Office of General Education in the Office of the Provost is expected to provide several benefits for both the University at large and to Dedman College, say Currall and DiPiero:

  • The new arrangement will allow SMU to be more strategically responsive to trends in higher education and in the marketplace.
  • The new structure will enhance flexibility to ensure the University Curriculum works for every undergraduate college and school.
  • The new associate provost will provide coordination across the curriculum.
  • The associate provost will also work to promote innovations in curricular structure and content.
  • University advising, the University Honors Program and the Hilltop Scholars Program will remain in Dedman College.

Moore brings to his new position a wealth of familiarity with SMU’s core curriculum. As head of the Office of General Education, since 2014 he has worked with the University Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate’s Academic Policies Committee, as well as faculty across the University, to develop the revised curriculum known as UC 2016 based on data and experience gained from the University Curriculum of 2010.

A professor of mathematics, Moore has also served as senior associate dean and associate dean of academic affairs in Dedman College since July 2010. Dean DiPiero will appoint a new full-time associate dean; plans for that process will be announced at a later date.

“During recent years, Professor Moore’s work has evolved to be more focused on campuswide general education and liberal arts,” said Currall. “This move will create an opportunity for Peter to use his considerable talents in the Provost’s Office and for Dedman College to have a fully dedicated associate dean.”

“Peter Moore is passionate about undergraduate education, and he knows more about how different institutions approach it than anyone I know,” said DiPiero. “I look forward to continuing a close and collaborative working relationship with him as we design new programs and continue to fine-tune our University Curriculum.”

Moore joined the Department of Mathematics in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in August 2000, after serving 11 years as a faculty member at Tulane University in New Orleans. His teaching interests include calculus, differential equations, numerical analysis and modeling.

He served as department chair from August 2005 to May 2009, and twice as dean ad interim of the College: from June 2009 to July 2010 and from June to August 2014. His SMU service also includes membership on the Provost’s Committee on Tenure and Promotion and the Steering Committee for Project SMU: Organizational Effectiveness for the Second Century (OE2C).

As a researcher, Moore is an expert in the computational solution of reaction-diffusion equations that occur in a variety of scientific and engineering applications. His projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, among others.

Moore’s work has been published in several major peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Numerical MathematicsApplied Numerical MathematicsMathematics of ComputationChemical Physics Letters, the Journal of Computational Physics, the Journal of Physical ChemistryPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, and Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.

Moore received the “M” Award, SMU’s highest honor for service to the University, in 2012. In 2010, during his first appointment as Dedman College acting dean, he became the first administrator to be elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa by the SMU (Gamma of Texas) chapter. His professional service includes an appointment to the editorial board of Applied Numerical Mathematics from January 2004 to December 2009.

Moore received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Michigan Technological University in 1981. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1983 and 1988. READ MORE

The roots of Donald Trump’s anti-intellectualism

Christian Science Monitor

Originally Posted: September 27, 2016

Trump has taken anti-wonkiness to new levels, and his high level of support echoes populist sentiment of yesteryear and follows a decades-long slide in trust in traditional institutions.

In reply, Mr. Trump said he’d been endorsed by the border patrol union and “over 200” retired admirals and generals. Then he went after the experts and their claim to policy superiority.

“I’ll take the generals any day over the political hacks that I see that have led our country so brilliantly over the last 10 years with their knowledge. OK?” said Trump, his voice sharpening. “Because look at the mess that we’re in. Look at the mess that we’re in.”

The moment was perhaps symbolic of Trump’s whole approach to the policy substance of a presidential campaign. It’s not just that he seems uninterested in details and unclear about such issues as “no first use” of nuclear weapons. It’s that he actively denigrates wonkiness as unimportant.

In that Trump may be following the lead of GOP candidates before him. The party has long positioned itself as “aw shucks” regular folks against the effete egghead Democrats.

But Trump has taken the approach to new levels. His support indicates there are many voters who approve. That’s perhaps reflective of a decades-long slide in trust in traditional US institutions, which hit new lows in the Great Recession and its aftermath. It also echoes populist strains from the 19th century.

“He’s going full-bore anti-intellectual, and it might work,” says Matthew Wilson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, in an email on the subject. “It clearly resonates with his base and may reach beyond that. People are pretty fed up with ‘experts’ these days.” READ MORE

Geophysics in Alaska 2016

SMU Adventures

Originally Posted: September 27, 2016

Two SMU graduate student researchers, with SMU Professor of Geophysics Matthew Hornbach, traveled to the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, to participate in a research project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to chart heat flow and chirp data on the ocean floor. This research project team, which includes two geophysicists from Oregon State University: Dr. Robert Harris and SMU alumnus Dr. Ben Phrampus ’15, is working aboard the Norseman II research vessel. READ MORE

Ron Wetherington, Anthropology, standards for teaching evolution still a battle

My Statesman

Originally Posted: September 26, 2016

A state committee has drafted preliminary recommendations that would no longer require Texas public high school biology teachers to teach theories that challenge the scientific understanding of evolution.

The State Board of Education has tasked a 10-member committee of school district officials and scholars to whittle down the state’s biology curriculum standards, also called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The streamlining comes as teachers have long complained that the amount of material the state requires them to teach in all subjects is too voluminous to cover in a school year.

At its July meeting, a majority of the biology committee took a preliminary vote to remove, among others, four curriculum standards that some members say challenge the theory of evolution.

Skeptics of evolution say the standards in question — out of 58 total biology standards — are meant to spur students’ critical thinking on scientific evidence that evolution can’t readily explain. Evolution proponents say the four standards promote the teaching of creationism and intelligent design.

“I don’t advocate for any kind of creationism to be taught in the school. That does not belong in the TEKS. I’m simply concerned about the fair representation of the evidence for evolution,” said Ray Bohlin, one of two committee members who opposed removing the four standards. Bohlin works for Probe Ministries in Plano and holds a doctorate in cell and molecular biology.

Fellow committee member Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor at Southern Methodist University, said he and others voted to remove the standards because they are redundant and irrelevant.

“How can we improve the TEKS by paring it down and giving you more time to teach what you need to teach? For the most part, we were looking at duplications, non sequitur and grammatical problems, and other structural problems in the TEKS that made it difficult to interpret,” Wetherington said.

He said he believes the standards he wants to remove promote creationism and intelligent design, but that wasn’t the primary reason he’s in favor of striking them. READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Do 13 true-or-false questions predict a Trump victory?

Christian Science Monitor

Originally Posted: September 25, 2016

A professor who has accurately predicted the winner in each of the past eight presidential elections announced that his model points to a victory this November for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Instead of relying on the latest voter polls, Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, answers 13 true-or-false questions, which he calls “The Keys to the White House.” The questions are written to gauge the performance of the current president’s political party.

If fewer than six answers return false, then the ruling party hangs on for another four years, according to the model. If six answers or more are false, as is the case this year, then the challenging party will win.

“So very, very narrowly, the keys point to a Trump victory,” Dr. Lichtman told The Washington Post.

The model was first used to predict President Ronald Reagan would win his bid for reelection in 1984. By design, it applies retrospectively for every prior election dating back to Abraham Lincoln’s victory in 1860.

But this could be the year that breaks his model, Lichtman said, citing the unprecedented nature of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

“We’ve never before seen a candidate who’s spent his life enriching himself at the expense of others,” Lichtman said, describing Trump as “a serial fabricator.” Trump’s numerous shocking deeds include inviting a foreign power to interfere in American elections and twice inciting violence against an opponent, Lichtman added.

“Given all of these exceptions that Donald Trump represents, he may well shatter patterns of history that have held for more than 150 years, lose this election even if the historical circumstances favor it,” Lichtman told the Post.

Trump’s departure from historical norms was well-known during the primaries, when fellow Republicans urged him to behave in a more “presidential” fashion, as The Christian Science Monitor’s Linda Feldmann reported in March.

Looking all the way back to the founding of the United States, experts see no one quite like Trump – not even in notoriously brash seventh President Andrew Jackson.

Cal Jillson, a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University, said Mr. Jackson had “a very individualistic personal style” but saw himself as “first among equals.” READ MORE

Everything you think you know about Reagan is wrong

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: September 22, 2016

By: Jeffrey A. Engel, an American history scholar and director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Email: jaengel@smu.edu

Woe to the Republican candidate who doesn’t pledge to be the Gipper reincarnated. But woe to the American people who try to find a candidate today who represents all they remember Ronald Reagan to have been.

Having canonized his memory, Republican nominees invoked his name 15 times at one GOP primary debate in February. God got only five mentions.

Even GOP nominee Donald Trump, a nontraditional Republican candidate for sure, willingly embraces his newfound role as Reagan’s heir, though he wasn’t always a fan. Critical of the country’s 40th president in his self-lauded 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Trump called Reagan “a con man” who couldn’t “deliver the goods” for the American people. Asked in 2011 to name which presidents he admired most (no doubt having determined his political future was with Republicans), Trump offered a distinctly different response: “Well, I really like and knew a little bit Ronald Reagan. … I loved his style. I loved what he represented.”

Reagan’s shadow looms large over the contemporary political landscape, his core beliefs setting inviolable tenets of modern Republicanism. Reagan believed in tax cuts. So, too, does Trump, as did the other 16 GOP candidates. Reagan believed in a strong defense. Again, there was unanimous support among the GOP possibilities.

The center of American politics stands further to the right today than when Reagan took office in 1981, in large part because of the clarity of his message. Even Democrats recognize his appeal. Bill Clinton famously declared “the era of big government is over,” in 1996, sounding more Reaganesque than like his party’s own patron saint, Franklin Roosevelt. Barack Obama, too, recognized Reagan’s core appeal, modeling his own message-driven presidency accordingly. Obama said in 2008 that Reagan “put us on a fundamentally different path” because he “tapped into what people were already feeling, which was, we want clarity, we want optimism.”

Today’s America is Reagan’s, but what if I told you everything you think you know about the man, and most everything his compatriots praise, is wrong? Americans love the Reagan they remember, not the Reagan that was. READ MORE

Congratulations to Dr. Rick Halperin, the 2016 Peacemakers Incorporated Peace Patron award winner

Originally Posted: September 26, 2016

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Congratulations to SMU Embrey Human Rights Director, Dr. Rick Halperin, who recently accepted the Peacemakers Incorporated 2016 Peace Patron award. Dr. Halperin was introduced with an inspirational testimony by Embrey Family Foundation Philanthropic Visionary and Dedman College board member Lauren Embrey. Learn more about the Embrey Human Rights Program.

 

Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero welcomes Dedman College Parents

Date: September 23, 2016
Time: 1-2pm
Location: Dallas Hall lawn

Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero welcomes Dedman College parents to on the front lawn of Dallas Hall Friday, September 23, from 1-2 p.m. Come meet the Dean, learn more about your student’s college and find out why we are cooking up some of the best courses on campus! There will be Frog legs (and chicken bites) as we prepare for the SMU vs. TCU game. READ MORE

Latest class of Dedman College Scholars shadowed doctors, founded charities before coming to SMU

SMU News

Originally Posted: September 21, 2016

September 21, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Many SMU students come to the Hilltop for their education because they want to change the world.

Some come because they already have.

The latest class of 19 Dedman Scholars, who share a passion for academic excellence and extra-curricular achievement, includes a student who researched genetics and shadowed a breast cancer doctor, another who earned more than $1 million in scholarship offers from universities across the country, and one who founded a charitythat raised $20,000 to build an elementary school in the Dominican Republican.

All of these achievements were accomplished by the scholars before any of them graduated from high school.

“Dedman Scholars provide Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences with strong intellectual leadership,” says Dean Thomas DiPiero. “These students are always out in front doing independent research and spearheading university and civic projects.”

“They receive up to $10,000 in scholarship money annually, they get to participate in a community of scholars that we nurture, and then we guide them through their four years on campus,” says Dedman College Scholars Director David Doyle. “The goal of all the scholars is by the end of their time here, they’re engaged in some kind of independent (research) work. So we kind of lead them along the way.”

This year’s incoming Dedman College Scholars are: Roxana Farokhnia, of McKinney; Madeline Hamilton; of Denton;Jordan Hardin, of Euless; Hideo Ishii-Adajar, of Plano; Kayla Johansen, of Midlothian; Caroline Kelm, Lindale;Hunter Kolon, of Spring; Ashley Mai, of Richardson; Mary Christine (Mimi) Mallory, of Lynn Haven, Florida;Alexandra (Allie) Massman, of Frisco; Hannah Massman, of Frisco; Alexander McNamara, of Mansfield; Lorien Melnick, of Mundelein, Illinois; Andrea D. Nguyen, of Allen; Tannah Oppliger, of Carrollton; Thomas W. Park, of Forth Worth; Aarthi Parvethaneni, of Bellevue, Washington; Anika Reddy, of Dallas; and Cambley Sassman, of Mansfield.

“The 2020 class of Dedman Scholars is the largest in the history of the program and I’m thrilled to have them on campus this fall,” DiPiero adds. “Dedman College will provide these students with the resources and support they need to achieve their lofty dreams, and I look forward to seeing what ambitions they set their sights on during their four years at SMU.”

The Dedman College Scholarship is a donor-supported program, and those interested in supporting it may contact Mary Lynn Amoyo at 214-768-9202 or mamoyo@smu.edu.

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The Dedman College Scholars Program is designed to enrich the University’s intellectual life by providing unique learning opportunities for selected academically strong students seeking a major in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The program offers a merit-based scholarship award, an actively engaged community of peers and close faculty guidance and mentoring.

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.